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INNERMOST RITE OF EGYPTIAN TEMPLES   179
polls of a remote, antique and powerful civili2ation of the past.
This soaring obelisk stood like a sentinel guarding the entrance to the temple, while the inscriptions upon its sides proclaimed the story of the building, in deeply cut hieroglyphs. The obelisk was something more than a stone shaft set up to carry a certain engraved inscription; it was also a sacred symbol, and its top always terminated in a small pyramid.
Heliopolis was a great centre of learning, sacred and secular, with thirteen thousand priest-students and teachers; with a huge population and a pre-eminent library that later helped to form the famous Alexandrian one.
The young Moses paced on his ceremonial walks around the temples or pored over his rolls of papyri: spent there many an hour in deep thought and solitary meditation.
Exceptionally serious, even as a child, Moses progressed so well in his studies and character that he passed through all the initiation degrees with honours, reaching the rare and culminating degree of Adept. He was then fit to become a hierophant, in his turn. And it was in the same Mystery school where he had studied—in the school attached to the Great Temple of Heliopolis, the City of the Sun—that he attained to this distinction. He received candidates into the secret rites of Osiris, highest of the rites of the Mysteries.
In those days he bore another name, an Egyptian one, such as befitted his half-Egyptian parentage. His original name was Osarsiph. (This is no flight of imagination on the writer's part; I am taking his name, and the nanie of his temple, along with one or two other facts, from the ancient Egyptian records of the priest Manetho: the rest I have discovered by private research.)
When the great change came in his life, when he accepted the mission which both destiny and the gods had confided to him, he signalized the event by altering his name to an Israelite one. All instructed Egyptians believed in the power of names* A name possessed magical value for them. And so Osarsiph took on the name of Moses.
The Pharaoh of his time was a man of hard unspiritual character. He was stubborn and cruel. His treatment of the Israelites was such that the persecution aroused Moses* sympathies and stirred the strain of Hebrew blood that flowed in his veins. He succeeded in freeing the Hebrew tribes from their